First handsets arriving early 2013Publish date: 03 July 2012 by Hanleigh Daniels
Mozilla might be known for its Firefox desktop browser, but the software firm now aims to stake a bigger claim in the mobile market via its own mobile platform, dubbed Firefox OS.
The company has revealed that industry support for this fully open mobile ecosystem, which is based on HTML5, is increasing. It is going to power smartphones that utilise software built on open web standards, with all of these mobile device’s capabilities being developed as HTML5 applications.
A number of mobile operators from around the globe have gotten aboard the Firefox OS bandwagon including Deutsche Telekom, Sprint, Telecom Italia, and Telefónica.
Device manufacturers TCL communication technology (Alcatel) and Chinese firm ZTE also announced their intentions to manufacture the first devices to operate on the new Firefox OS.
Like all Windows Phone OS running devices, these two mobile phone maker’s smartphones will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors. The first Firefox OS operating mobile devices are expected to launch commercially within Brazil during early 2013 through Telefónica’s commercial brand, Vivo.
Mozilla stated that the Firefox OS for mobile devices is built on its Boot to Gecko project, enabling HTML5 applications to access the underlying capabilities of a mobile phone, which was previously only available to native applications.
The new mobile OS will also be taking aim at popular platforms within developing regions such as Nokia’s Asha range of feature phones, affordable, entry-level Android handsets and RIM’s BlackBerry smartphones.
According to Mozilla, the optimisation of the platform for entry-level smartphones translates to mobile operators having the ability to offer enhanced experiences, at a range of price points that include the low end of the smartphone price range. This will assist in driving adoption across developing markets.
“The introduction of the open mobile OS continues the Mozilla mission to promote openness, innovation and opportunity on the web for users and developers. As billions of users are expected to come online for the first time in the coming years, it is important to deliver a compelling smartphone experience that anyone can use,” said Gary Kovacs, CEO of Mozilla.
“The large number of operators and manufacturers now supporting this effort will bring additional resources and diversity to our global offerings,” Kovacs concluded.
In related news, Mozilla also recently released Firefox for Android version 14, which the firm says is much faster than the standard Android browser, Firefox for Android version 13, as well as its other mobile browser rivals such as Opera Mobile.